Tasting: September 14, 2012
The last few nights have been quite cool and my thoughts are turning from the summer that was to the fall ahead. With the exception of raking leaves and carting them to the dump – I love fall. Daytime temperatures are still pleasant for outdoor activities like apple picking at the winery or hiking a trail with the cub scouts. I love trick or treating with the kids and football. Maybe one of these falls, the New York Mets will add to my enjoyment by delivering a fall championship –aaah – it’s a dream.
One other thing I love about fall is the transition from lighter summer fare to hearty stews, pot roast and you guessed it – darker beer. In particular â€“ I love stout. It can be amazingly complex — from the light and creamy feel of oatmeal, Irish or milk stout to the behemoth palate bomb of a bourbon barrel aged Russian imperial stout or coffee stout. A stout is part of the â€œporterâ€ family. It was first called stout porter. Its darkness comes from the use of dark or roasted grains. It can be sweet with the use of milk sugars and can be bitter without significant use of hops. This one is a milk stout since it’s made with milk sugar. The label calls this a double chocolate stout because it is made with both dark chocolate and chocolate malts.
I bought this one in the nitro can. These cans are pressurized with nitrogen and this pushes gas and beer into the widget. When the can is opened, it releases the gas that’s been trapped in the widget creating smaller bubbles and ultimately a creamier mouthfeel. It pours a tan color and the cascading bubbles are a thing of beauty. It settles to a typical black color with a layer of what looks like whipped cream floating on top. This one truly tastes like a iced mocha latte. It’s creamy and subtly sweet with mild coffee and chocolate notes. The chocolate isn’t as strong as I’d like – but really enjoyable, 89 points.
Don’t forget – National Stout day is November 8th.